Jico SAS vs Neo-SAS(S) vs Neo-SAS(R)

For those analogue ‘tragics’ comfortable enough in their own skins to keep playing MM cartridges despite the media and peer-pressure propaganda towards MCs…….the success of Jico and their after-market replacement styli has been good news.

Of particular delight to that minority still playing vintage MM cartridges……the success of the SAS stylus from Jico.….. has transformed cartridges like the Shure V15, Victor X1 and Z1 and Garrott P77 into world-beaters amongst the cartridge elite.


What is so special about the SAS stylus?

It seems that Jico has invented a profile more radical that the standard ‘Line-Contact’, VdH or Shibata…..

An inspection of the diamond under a 60x loupe displays cutting-edge profiles I have never before seen on a stylus.

Jico claims that this profile better fits the record groove and is more akin to the profile of the cutting-lathe stylus.

The better the stylus fits into the record groove, the less distortion is caused by high-amplitude reproduction

But claims are pretty meaningless in the analogue world unless they are backed up……

And with the SAS stylus, the performance matches the ‘hype’….

In all three cartridges I have used….original 35 year Garrott P77, Shure V15/III and Victor Z1….the SAS has transformed each one, from a very good performer to a superlative one.

The improvement over the original manufacturer’s stylus is muti-faceted…

From frequency response (bass and treble in particular) to transparency to sound-stage (both width and depth) but most importantly……to the emotional content able to be extracted from the vinyl grooves.

My three SAS-equipped MM cartridges leapt into contention as ‘the best’ of the 80 or so cartridges I have owned and bettered all but 3 or 4 of the 20 LOMC cartridges I have owned……


So imagine the reaction when Jico announced 2 years ago that production of the SAS stylus was being suspended……?

The original SAS stylus came with a boron cantilever and there appears to be a problem with the world’s supply (or price) of boron….?

Now I have a preference for beryllium as a cantilever material but because of safety standards surrounding the toxicity of beryllium during the manufacturing process……it is no longer offered as a cantilever material.

Why they can still use it for dome tweeters is a mystery to me….?

Boron is used as a cantilever material by many cartridge manufacturers…..Dynavector, ZYX, Lyra to name but a few….so why Jico is no longer supplying it is puzzling.

Six months ago, Jico announced the re-introduction of the SAS stylus but this time with a choice of sapphire or tapered-ruby cantilever….both at massive price hikes to the boron.

The tapered-ruby is almost 4 times the cost of the original boron cantilever…..

A comparison of the three SAS assemblies is revealing……

With the original boron cantilever, the actual stylus is buried under an epoxy glue sarcophagus in a manner that can only be described as rather crude….

Just the tip of the faceted diamond is visible poking out of the epoxy…

The new synthetic jewel cantilevers are different animals entirely.

The sapphire appears translucent (not blue) with the nude stylus expertly and neatly cut into the jewelled rod whilst the ruby is even more impressive, again having a nude diamond cut into the ruby rod which has been ‘shaved’ down 2 or 3 sides to create the ‘taper’. And this rod glows ‘pink’…..justifying its premium pricing ?


I picked the Garrott P77 for this test because the neo-SAS(R) was not yet available for the Z1 and the V15/III, though wonderful…..was not quite up to the standards of the other two……


When I received the two new SAS styli, I was in two minds about them…..

Could the simple change in cantilever material make a noticeable difference in performance?........and for the price increases, it had better!!

There is little doubt in my mind that the SAS’s performance boost was due primarily to the radical stylus shape and as noted earlier…..boron is a respectable cantilever material utilised by high-performance exotic MC cartridges the world over.

If sapphire or ruby were to offer even increased performance benefits over the boron…..then why wouldn’t other manufacturers have already changed over?

These thoughts mingled with the aesthetic appreciation of the ‘nude’ mounting and the ‘glowing’ jewelled rods as I swapped out my original SAS and went straight to the neo-SAS(R)….


If I was expecting a revelation…..I was disappointed.

In fact, if I was expecting a difference …..I was disappointed.

No matter how many albums I played (and each album side I would change styli)….I could discern no differences.

And I really tried to hear differences….

At one point I thought I had picked the only audible difference as being slightly better bass response with the two jewelled cantilevers….

This was revealed by albums from Massive Attack and Dead Can Dance.

So I brought in the decider for bass reproduction…..the Barber ‘Adagio for Strings’ on Gary Karr’s ‘En Aranjuez con tu Amor’ (Firebird) sends even my Vandersteen 2Wq subwoofers into fibrillation mode…..

But no……seemingly equal bass response…..


So there you have it…..

For two weeks I have exhausted my test-record catalogue, loosened the stylus-plug-insert on my Garrott P77, annoyed my wife and angered the neighbours….

And I can report that I am able to discern no differences….absolutely none….between the original SAS the neo-SAS(S) and the neo-SAS(R).

I’m sure that there will be those who will claim they can hear differences and the differences are like ‘night and day’…..

Good luck to them.

Maybe they can….maybe they can’t.

At least I will have no need to buy replacement neo-SAS styli for my Z1 and V15/III.


The good thing to take away from this exercise is this:-

The neo-SAS stylus assembly from Jico is just as good as the original SAS and for that…..the analogue world should be eternally grateful….



Nice report, halcro. If it ain’t, it ain’t.

Best to you,
Thanks Dave.
Appreciate the feedback...😃
Very interesting, Henry, thank you for evaluating & sharing those observations!

Just out of curiosity, did you happen to test resonance with these styli/cantilvers vs. the original SAS? Guessing that since you heard no differences that compliance remained as it was, but I didn't know if changing cantilever material would affect compliance in general when using the same cartridge body.

After all, I am always looking for more variables to futz over with analog. Cheers,
Didn't think to check resonant frequency Spencer.....
Good idea...😎
Will do it the next couple of days...

@halcro  Which NEO SAS is compatible with Garrorr p77 ?  

P.S. My mate just purchased two Neo SAS (S) for his pair of Technics 205c mk4 (repaired by Axel with nagaoka cantilever/tip before).    

Chakster...the Neo-SAS Stylus 1 ( which is their standard SAS) is the one that fits the P77.
It's available in both S and R versions.

Dear Chakster, The author of Hamlet asked the question:''what is

in a name?''. According to logic different names  with the same

reference can be substituted for each other ''salva veritate''. So

whatever is true about Vienna is also true about Wien , Wenen,

 Bec, etc. However for the manufacturer new names mean new

prices not necessary  anything (else) new.

Hi Halcro
Thank you for this report. I was wondering about the Sapphire vs Ruby and how it compared to the original boron. Really glad to hear from your report that the neo-SAS is just as good as the original boron-SAS. I guess the ruby might give a tiny difference in some special cases, but most likely it is maybe just to appeal to some vintage enthusiasts who lovingly remember the dynavector rubies. My guess is that they changed the manufacturing to get away from the bonding to boron, since many people think bonding is a "cheap" technique for such an expensive stylus.

Not sure if you ever saw this thread over on VinylEngine but it gives lots of good info on stylus shapes.
The consensus is that the SAS is Jico’s name for the Namiki micro-ridge which was patented back in 1983. It also appears that Jico might be a sister company to Namiki, but this is harder to confirm (Namiki does the cutting and maybe Jico does the assembly). Also since this stylus shape is laser-cut it seems that Namiki might be the only company with the technical skills to make these so probably all micro-ridge/micro-line (AT-ML, dynavector 20x 17d3, lyra delos/dorian, Jico SAS) are actually all Namiki micro-ridge styli.

Thank you for trumpeting the glories of the Victor Z1/SAS. I’m enjoying mine immensely. I also love the look of that translucent sapphire cantilever and this neo-SAS construction does look world-class.

I assume that the contributions of our beloved and respected J.Carr

are raed with more attention than the other. We have had a

discussion about cantilevers in which he explained why he uses

boron as well what the advantage of aluminum (alloy) is ; pressure

fitting of the stylus instead of gluing them. The fact that he never

used sapphire for his cantilevers he explained with assertion that

saphire does not sound good. Or words with the same meaning.

@nandric   I did a search of jcarr and sapphire and could not find the comments you are referring to. I just found his mentioning of Namiki running out of boron cantilevers so they could no longer supply their stylus mounted on boron to manufacturers, and his comments about difficulties of manufacturing with boron cantilevers and that his sources for boron cantilevers are a trade secret now.

Can you provide the reference? I would love to read his comment.

Dear Jessica, My formulation ''or words with the same meaning''

was, I thought , sufficient indication that I was not willing  to serach

 in the  ''endless'' MM thread even for my beloved J.Carr . 

Dear Nandric, apologizes for not catching your meaning.

At least my search probably explains why Jico had to switch from boron/SAS to sapphire/SAS. It might be the simple case that they get their cantilever/stylus from Namiki, Namiki has run out of boron cantilevers, has the in-house manufacturing capabilities for sapphire rods, and thus can only supply their micro-ridge/SAS mounted on sapphire, ruby, or aluminum (simple supply chain and manufacturing issues driving product changes and Jico making the best of the situation available to them).
Hi Jessica,
Glad that you tracked down my report and found it useful....
My guess is that they changed the manufacturing to get away from the bonding to boron, since many people think bonding is a "cheap" technique for such an expensive stylus.

Apart from the recent scarcity of boron for stylus cantilevers.....I think your "guess" is a good one.
And I agree with you that the sapphire (and ruby) cantilevers with the ’nude’ fitting of the stylus just exude so much more visual ’class’ than the original SAS...😎
Incidentally...I don’t recall J.Carr offering a negative view on the sound of jewelled cantilevers, and the fact that you could find no postings to support this claim, seems poignant.
I do however seem to recall J.Carr stating that ’aluminium’ as a cantilever material was underrated and that he would be happy to use it were boron not available.....

Thank you also for that Link to the stylus shapes...
I have seen it in the past, but it is always worth reading again.....
Hope you continue to enjoy the Z1/SAS just as I do on a regular basis.
It is one great cartridge.....👍

Dear @jessica_severin: """  I was wondering about the Sapphire vs Ruby """

there is no difference is the same kind of stone: corundum ( AL2O3 ). Works the same has/shares same characteristics.

Regards and wenjoy the MUSIC NOT MUSIC,

I think that those who question my, say, interpretation of Carr's

opinion about saphire cantilevers should provide the reference

to his post about cantilevers. BTW I asked back then the question

about cantilever kinds and Carr was so kind to answer my questions.

What I do remember was that he deed not like the sound of saphire

cantilevers. No wonder he never used them.

Back when sapphire and boron and beryllium originally duked it out in the cantilever wars, it was quickly found that sound quality wise..boron was the cantilever of choice. That if you could afford to move up to a cartridge that used boron for cantilevers, then do so..as sapphire was considered a non choice if you wanted the best sound quality that was to be found..

When I saw sapphire being re-introduced as a cantilever material, I could not believe it..where was the boron?

In the same way that delta-sigma one bit dacs became all that was available and the R2R ladder dacs were gone due to expense..we found that the question and answer that was known before..was somehow erased and we were all stuck with delta-sigma 1-bit dacs..as if R2R/ladder dacs never existed and their entire higher plateau of sound quality never existed.

The same thing seems to have happened with the boron vs sapphire knowledge base. As if boron never happened and sapphire was there all along. Stop asking silly questions!

My vague recollection of the scenario is that sapphire has too low a self resonance frequency (and potential excitability via energies added, bending modes, mass vs flex, etc) and this is excited by the high level high frequency transients, and a subtle high frequency emphasis/distortion is added to the signal. This is what made the jeweled cantilevers end up finding themselves brushed off the stage by boron, way back then.

If one wanted as perfect a cartridge motor as is possible (MM or MC), they had high frequency extension built into the motor, for clean transients and harmonics.... and this had to be coupled to an idealized suspension system, coupled with a boron cantilever and suitable stylus. The end. This was the end result found...across multiple companies giving these overall design packages - various forms of attempts and trials.

Of course, since the RE-introduction of sapphire cantilevers (round two) we’ve had a sea level change in how people build and listen to systems (it was slow, it took two-three decades). We’ve also suffered a near total disconnect from the lore and common consensus that came before, as the LP had faded in the interim.

LP’s come back....sapphire comes back... and is now somehow........ doing ok.
I cannot say that I have a direct knowledge base on the subject of sapphire vs ruby, when it comes to cantilever materials, but on this I have to side with Raul; I heretofore thought that "sapphire" and "ruby" are descriptors for one and the same material that can be used to make cantilevers. Thus I wonder why SAS developed the "S" and "R" single letter code to distinguish their two lines of replacement styli. Perhaps it has to do with the method by which the stylus is fixed to the cantilever or to the shape of the stylus itself. Is there any basis for that idea?

In a jewelry store, of course, rubies and sapphires are entirely different.

Teo, I must have missed the decisive victory of Boron over Sapphire in Cantilever Wars.  Did Boron have dragons?
I think they had shotguns and a mean attitude. They told everyone else to leave.

But no, this was just a general drift into boron as the cantilever of choice for extremes of ’best’. I was paying attention and watching it evolve. Information as to the why of boron over sapphire was not generally spoken of unless the writer or manufacturer was into the whole fidelity thing and trying to push for boron. Very little data was around but it was of a pretty decent consensus.

Professionalism tends to disallow for trashing of others in public so the advantages of boron were spoken of but the deficiencies of sapphire were not generally spoken of unless the given supplier of carts was pushing some boron on the public (vs a strong competitor or their own older sapphire equipped units, etc). Then they waxed poetic with the technicalities of the situation. One might have read on the subject sporadically for years during that time period, but found the relevant data in a total of, what...maybe 5-6 critical sentences -spread out across only a few articles. Hard to come by lore that is hard won, is not given away, unless one is a fool, or independent of the given scenario but somehow possesses the relevant information.

The big cart companies of the time...could afford to bring that (boron) down into lower priced ’mid-high’ cartridges. Volume provides cost advantages. etc.

Then the mass manufacturing advantages began to fade, costs went up... digital came slowly creeping in..and it all slowly went silent and senile in the wide swath of the middle range of the given gear available. So boron went away except at the extreme high end of things. And fewer suppliers, one would guess, with higher prices.

If one has to take their entire mid-high line up... and abandon boron and go backward into aluminum cantilevers, there’s no way they are going to even make a peep about that...so the market reduction from quantity and quality as a pairing, down turned into something less...happened in utter silence. Marketing and public perception made it necessary to have it play out that way.

Just like it did with Delta-sigma 1-bit dacs vs the superior R2R/Ladder dacs in all the digital gear.
I will add my 50 cents... I don’t think any cartridge with Boron Cantilever is always better than Sapphire, Beryllium etc. I’ve never owned a cartridges with Ruby or Diamond cantilevers, but i have owned a few with Sapphire cantilevers, and many with Boron, Alluminum and Beryllium cantilevers. Titanium has been used as well by various manufacturers. Audio-Technica used Gold Plated Boron, Stanton used Sapphire coated Alluminum... Miyajima top of the line Madake cartridge comes with exotic Bamboo cantilever, but lower models are all made and tuned with Alluminum cantilevers (Miyajima-San said that the most expensive cantilevers does not make the sound of his cartridge any better). Legendary Krell and Cello aka Miyabi MC cartridges designed with Alluminum cantilevers. Ortofon SPU Royal GM MKII comes with alluminum cantilever and the most advanced and the most expensive Replicant 100 stylus tip (aka Fritz Gyger). The best Fidelity-Research cartridges with Air Core (PMC-3 and FR-7, FR-7Fz, FR-702) also comes with alluminum cantilevers and those cartrs considered the best of the best. So having the Boron cantilever is not always necessary. Some well designed cartridges are just better than others!

here is some info from JVC Victor add:

Density (gr/cm): 1.84 Beryllium / 2.69 Aluminum / 4.54 Titanium

Young Modulus (kg/mm): 28,000 Beryllium / 7,400 Aluminum / 11,000 Titanium

Velocity Of Sound Propagation (m/sec): 12,600 Beryllium / 6,420 Aluminum / 5,990 Titanium

If you owned a cartridge with a sapphire cantilever, then you also owned a cartridge with a ruby cantilever, until proven otherwise.  In audio, they are one and the same material, I think. And so does Raul, for one other source.  I am open to consider any evidence to the contrary, however.
@rauliruegas @lewm
sorry I should have been more clear. I understand that sapphire and ruby are the same material (outside of some trace elements of chromium to give the red color).
Jico uses sapphire and ruby to differentiate between a tapered (ruby) and non-tapered (sapphire) cantilever. So the ruby is more expensive since it requires additional manufacturing to further shape the tip of the cantilever.
Here is the text from their website
Similarly the neoSAS/R enjoys all the benefits listed above with one crucial advantage:The four facets of its crystalline ruby cantilever taper toward the diamond tip. This tapered ruby cantilever design allows for lower moving mass, giving the neoSAS/R even greater ability reproduce vibrations in the record groove with precision, accuracy, speed, and fidelity.

My curiosity was if that additional tapering and thus tiny amount of less material and mass at the tip actually did alter the sound of the Jico neo-SAS and if this was worth double the price on a replacement stylus. The ruby/taper is only available for a small number of cartridge bodies and the Victor Z1 is not one of them.  So it was more if it would be worth trying to get one of those different bodies in order to try the ruby/taper. Henry answered that question sufficiently for me that I will be content with the Jico neo-Sas(S) for my victor Z1 and not bother to chase down alternate Jico/sas/bodies.

dear nandric,
I wasn’t doubting your comment about jonathan carr saying he does not like to use sapphire cantilevers. I was just more curious what he found out in his experiments/experience that helped him form that opinion.

Dear Jessica, I am obviously not very successful with referring.

I meant  ''some Aussie'' not you.

I think that those who question my, say, interpretation of Carr'sopinion about saphire cantilevers should provide the referenceto his post about cantilevers. 

OK...here's a logical consequence.....

J.Carr claims in a Post on A'Gon, that sapphire cantilevers are second only to ruby cantilevers for high-end cartridges.

Anyone who questions this should provide reference to his post about cantilevers.....

The logical conseqence from ''a and b are identical'' is that one

can substitute a for b or the other way round ''salva veritate''.

Say: ''whatever is true about Vienna is also true about Wien''.

To put this otherwise:  ''if saphire and ruby '' are identical kinds

of artificial stones , then...''ruby must be superiour to saphire''

(grin). BTW  I missed the Aussie humor for some time.

Dear @chakster :  """ The best Fidelity-Research cartridges with Air Core  also comes with alluminum cantilevers and those cartrs considered the best of the best. """

certainly are not the best of the best, not for me. Are good cartridges and nothing more.

Now, of course there are reasons why the superiority of Boron against aluminum or berillyum. I paste this from somwhere in the net:

"""   Boron is a much more advanced material for cantilevers than aluminum alloy. The velocity of sound in boron is almost 3x what it is in aluminum. Boron is much harder and stiffer than Al resulting in less flexure and in Boron the frequency of the first major resonance is going to be out of the audioband. """

Probably stiffness is a main material characteristioc for cartridge cantilevers and hardness could be desirable too. 
Boron is way superior in both parameters than berillyum and aluminum ( the poorer. ).

Stiffness of a material is measured using Young Modulus where Boron has: 480 GPa, berillyum 287 and aluminum 69. Diamond has 1050 GPa and corundum 300.

About hardness ( Mohs scale. ): boron 9.5-10.0, berillyum 5.5, aluminum 2.5-3.0 and diamond 10 ( corundum: 9. )

Now, everything the same cartridges with boron in cantilevers makes a better work in that critical cartridge characteristic. Yes could be cartridges using boron in the cantilever that can sound not so good but not because boron it self but because its whole cartridge design.

In the other side and when I bougth my first JICO SAS for a Shure cartridge I was worried if the SAS replacement came with the same compliance than the original . Certainly not and this makes a difference as the different stylus shape and cantilever material and cantilever length and cantilever overall dimensions. Those differences are reflected in the cartridge quality performance levels.

It's obvious that a cartridge with a SAS replacement is a totally different cartridge design that not necessary means it performs better .

Regards and enjoy the MUSIC NOT DISTORTIONS,
Interesting data, Raul.  The question would be whether, for example, a hardness score of 9.5-10 is meaningfully superior to that of corundum (9), and I think there are a very few cartridges with diamond cantilevers; are they among "the best" sounding?  Also, I don't know whether the speed of sound propagation in the material is worth harping on, since the cantilever only has to transmit mechanical energy imparted at the stylus tip. In fact, one might think that the cantilever should not transmit sound, because that would amount to distortion, the sound energy arriving at the coil end being delayed compared to the physical movement of the cantilever that is solely due to groove modulation of the stylus motion.  Anyway, it's interesting to consider these things.  I really don't think there is a magic formula for cantilever materials.  Maybe it's cactus.
Dear @chakster :  """ The best Fidelity-Research cartridges with Air Core  also comes with alluminum cantilevers and those cartrs considered the best of the best. """

certainly are not the best of the best, not for me. Are good cartridges and nothing more.

Sadly, nobody knows your current favorite, Raul.
That Fidelity-Research PMC-3 was Influenced by FR-7 design, according to J.Carr info it is worth to searching out for (very rare model). The FR-7f and FR-7fz along with 702 adored by many a'gon members. I know your top FR was MCX-5 for some reason, but it was not the Ikeda-San design.

Hope i will check some of your old favorite Ortofon MC2000 in my system soon. It was in my wantlist for a long time along with PMC-3. 

BTW the point about compliance different between JICO vs. Original styli is good. 

There is no best cantilever material per se.
The selection of cantilever material and construct will depend on what the designer is trying to achieve with their particular cartridge design.

Typically the designer will want avery stiff cantilever material in order to push the mechanical resonance of the stylus/cantilever as far above the audible frequency range as possible, but they will also want low mass and low effective tip mass on the stylus. The original method of calculating tip mass was a derivation from the resonant frequency, i.e. the higher the resonant frequency the lower the tip mass.

Now here is the kicker - if you factor in not just stiffness, but mass to stiffness then the material itself is only one part of the equation. For example a hollow pipe will typically have a mass to stiffness ratio 6 times higher than a solid rod.

In the Shure V15vxmr they used micro walled beryllium tube specifically to achieve the lowest effective mass and highest RATIO of mass to stiffness..

The ultra-thin (0.0005-inch) beryllium MICROWALL/Be tube, shown in Figure 1c, has the lowest effective mass and highest ratio of stiffness to mass of any stylus cantilever ever,

The Shure has a mechanical resonance of 33khz. I believe my Dynavector Karat Nova 13D with its 1.3mm diamond cantilever has a mechanical resonance approaching 100khz.

This high resonance results in low effective tip mass providing better tracking and cleaner high frequency response.

The Technics EPC100 was another example where they used extremely thin walled Boron tube to achieve low effective tip mass and response out to 100k. The manufacturing process for the Technics EPC100 cantilever was to vapour deposit boron onto an aluminium tube and then to remove the aluminium by dissolving it leaving an impossibly thin walled tapered tube. As far as I am aware this process is no longer available due to toxicity and safety issues.

I have seen over the years Boron cantilevers in both rod and pipe form, so you need to be specific. A good example of cantilever types is the Sumiko Talisman range which I used to sell in the 80’s - the Sapphire tube cantilever was the "top" model, the Boron tube cantilever was their 2nd tier model, the aluminium cantilever the lowest. Sumiko describes their cantilever choice as follows
Sapphire Tube Cantilever - second in hardness only to diamond, the low mass Sapphire tube assures quickest transients with virtually perfect phase and non resonant characteristics due to lack of flexion.
Boron Tube Cantilever - lowest mass with highest rigidity coefficient.
I also note from their blurb they differentiate between nude mounted diamond with the Boron cantilever and laser mounted diamond with the Sapphire diamond - so maybe this suggests there may be manufacturing benefits from the use of Sapphire at that time - 80’s.

The key point from my posts is that in this forum audiophiles often look for a magic bullet - which is better this material or that, tubes for solid state, direct drive or rim drive or belt drive.

The best answer for any competent engineer to these questions should always be "that depends" - engineering choices are almost always in the context of the overall design, purpose and constraints. Believe it or not cartridge designers often have quite different priorities in mind when designing cartridges, trading off extended response for tracking ability, low distortion, long term stability, wear, and many other factors including ( ug ) cost, just to name a few.

Nice Post Dover....👍
Dover, i think the origina Technics 100c has Titanium cantilever and only later models such as mk3, mk4 have Boron cantilevers (not sure about mk2). 

Dear Dover, As usual ''eloquent post'' or, should I say, ''holistic

approach''  characteristic for eloquent persons. There is however

this premise in your reasoning which is not true while logic state

''if the premise is not true then deduced statements can't be true''.

But you may be a follower of Kant with his ''free will''? As the most

of us know the cart producers don't produce their own cantilevers

and styli. This means that they can't ''chose'' according to their

own ''will'' but like all of us only among  ''what is avalable'' . As

you imply explicite  regarding  beryllium kind.

I am with chakster but ''based'' on the weakest ''ground possible'':

my own hearing or preference. But there is this ''conundrum'':

I admire FR-7 fz with aluminum cantilever, Takeda's Miyabi,

Andreoli's Magic Diamond and dertonarms ''newest'' with

''Aussie approval'' all with aluminum cantilevers. But then I also

admire  my Allaerts MC 2, Benz LP s(aka ''mr'') ,etc. carts

with boron cantilever and even Nakamichi 1000 with beryllium

canilever. I fear that some Kantian would call me ''a whore''(grin).

@halcro cheers
The original Technics EPC100C used a titanium diboride cantilever (TiB2). This is a titanium boron compound which is classed as a ceramic, not a metal. The later models from the EPC100Cmk2 onwards had pure Boron pipe cantilevers.   

Dear @lewm / @chakster : "  Now, everything the same cartridges with boron in cantilevers makes a better work in that critical cartridge characteristic. "

yes, cantilever does not propagate sound but movement. Aluminum is very inexpensive against boron and is more easy to handle/work with and both are reasons why was used almost everywhere in the old times and not so old times. In those times almost no one designed cartridges with boron but today with out doubt is the material to go.

Designers choices are oriented by what the designer wants to achieve and during the cartridge voicing they go making changes here and there to achieve those targets.
That Lyra cartridges did not use aluminum says something.

cartridge designs takes in count a price point, to what fraction of market will goes.

In technical material characteristics diamond should be the material of choice . Top Koetsu comes with diamond and I can remember today cartridges that tooks that " road ".

In the past diamond was with out doubt the material choice for the top of the top designs as happened in : Dynavector, A>udio Technica, Sony, Highphonic, Supex, Yamaha and some others.

At the end the whole design speaks by it self but today boron is there. Maybe diamond in the near future can comeback, who knows.

@chakster , titanium certainly is not the best against boron or diamond.

Regards and enjoy the MUSIC NOT DISTORTIONS,
Dear @chakster : " BTW the point about compliance different between JICO vs. Original styli is good. "

it’s not only the compliance parameter/characteristics but the whole cantilever/stylus assembly where everything is totally different with nothing that can compare with original.

As I said when we use JICO/SAS replacements we are tradings the original cartridge design for a totally different one. Even the material on where the cantilever/stylus are holding vibrates in different way than the original !

There is no comparison we can make with the original, it’s a " new " cartridge.

Each one of us have different priorities and audio systems that’s why @jessica_severin like it a lot the Jico one but @halcro did not.

Btw, only ignorance can tell us that does not exist " the better/the best " when in the whole each day life always exist the best. It's this " the best " what moves the human been in the world. It's a must that exist " the best " because with out the " best " there is no challenge to any one and we can't have a better way of life.

We can take any consumer product example: refrigerators any one of you can think that ( example ) Whirlpool does not wants to be " the best "? or  Hamilton in F1 coompetitions? or Bolt before retired? or Mercedes Benz? or Burger King? or Canali or Zegna? or Chateu Laffite? or Ortofon or Lyra or Krell or Atmasphere? or the next one to the boron/diamond material?

We have to take in count that audio designers ( any item. ) are not " perfect " in that regards they all have more or less ignorance levels that sometimes are biased by marketing busine$$ because at the end of the day $$$ is all about for almost all of them. Nothing wrong with that, problem is that exist many audiophiles with very high ignorance levels even at the stupidity border that spreads that very high ignorance level.

Regards and enjoy the MUSIC NOT DISTORTIONS,

Well, yeah
I don't use JICO SAS myself anymore, tried only once and prefered the original over the jico sas (boron), but it tested on 205c mk4 cartridge with its unique original stylus and unique specs versus jico sas boron. Also i don't like the way jico designed those 205 replacements with ugly black front pannel for the beautiful technics carts.     
Dear @chakster : Your experience with JICO Technics is exactly the same that other gentlemans took with that 205.

Regards and enjoy the MUSIC NOT DISTORTIONS,
There is however this premise in your reasoning which is not true while logic state ''if the premise is not true then deduced statements can't be true''. But you may be a follower of Kant with his ''free will''? As the most of us know the cart producers don't produce their own cantilevers and styli. This means that they can't ''chose'' according to their own ''will'' but like all of us only among ''what is avalable'' .
Nandric - there may be less options for "cartridge manufacturers" in terms of cantilever and stylus choice today compared with the 80's but the premise is still true. Styli are still available today individually in a variety of profiles and can be fitted by anyone with the necessary equipment to their cantilever of choice.
Your final paragraph where you acknowledge your enjoyment of cartridges with aluminium, Boron and Beryllium illustrates my point. Cartridges are a sum of the parts equation.

Well there is only one cantilever that is not coming from the BIG manufacturers of the styli/cantilevers and this is Bamboo Cantilever of Miyajima Madake modern MC. 

Dear Dover, Because my friend Axel Schurholz (retip service) got

more customers than he was able to ''service'' I wanted to help

him by his search for styli and cantilevers. For the Japanese

''jewel comapnies'' I asked J. Carr for help but except their

address he was not able to provide any help. So the choice among

styli ''kinds'' by Axel's retips become very limited. My guess back

than was a kind of ''conspiracy theory'' by which cart producers

wanted to prevent cart retippers to get the needed parts by the

same supplier for both. Axel also complained about 100% price

increase by the two (?) Japanese ''supplier'' without any consultation

because he was consequntly forced to increase his retip prices.

My other ''conspiracy theory'' in this context was ''monoply position''

of the Japanese ''jewel companies''. About ''boron shorage'' I heard

in this (SAS) thread for the first time. From my other friend Vidmatas

the desigener/owner of the Reed (tonearm) company I got

information about saphire bearngs which he use for his tonearms

and was stunned by their prices. So to speak ''for free'''.

This may explain why SAS uses saphire however not the new

prices for their ''styli''. My conclusion from those ''facts'' (facts are

true statements) was the ''lack of choice'' for both professions .

This however imply that cart producers can't chose styli and

cantilevers as they would like. This means that they can ''choose''

only among what is available and this seems to be saphire and/

or aluminum (alloy) at present. 

I just want to comment that before we get too convinced about this "boron shortage", the comment from jcarr I referenced above was explicitly that Namiki (probable primary supplier for Jico) has run out of their stock of tubular boron cantilevers. Jcarr has an alternate source for boron rods which he still uses in his cartridges. If there is any shortage it is for the tubular boron (not boron in general)
jcarr320 posts07-01-2014 2:34am
Fleib: Namiki still keeps stocks of tubular sapphire cantilevers, and possesses fabrication abilities for the raw sapphire material (I believe). OTOH they do not have any more tubular boron cantilevers, and I do not believe that Namiki were ever capable of making the raw boron material or fabricating it into tubular form. Studying the patent literature on tubular boron suitable for use in phono cartridges reveals that the majority are by Matsushita (Panasonic).

If you (or anybody else) knows of a material manufacturer who can fabricate tubular boron with an outer diameter of 0.3~0.5mm, or anyone possessing reasonable quantities of the same, please let me know. FWIW, the same applies for boron rod with an outer diameter of 0.3~0.4mm. It would be welcome news for Ogura and Namiki, and by extension all manufacturers who use their products
Cantilever assemblies can be built completely by the cantilever manufacturer, but it is not unusual for the cartridge manufacturer to provide raw materials and/or prefabricated components so that the cantilever manufacturer can complete the cantilever assembly properly per the cartridge manufacturer’s design.

If the cantilever manufacturer has stocks of the appropriate raw materials and is able to fabricate these properly, it is usually easiest for the cartridge manufacturer to ask the cantilever manufacturer to source and make everything. But if the cantilever manufacturer doesn’t have the needed materials or capabilities, where the cantilever’s internal components come from and how they are made is up to the ingenuity and resourcefulness of the cartridge manufacturer. In the latter situations, neither the cartridge manufacturer nor cantilever manufacturer may be willing to reveal where what internal component originates from.
Regarding diamond dust coatings, we supply diamond-clad boron rods to Ogura for inclusion in our upper-model cantilever assemblies. Our goal is to suppress out-of-band (ultrasonic) resonances and increase rigidity; I assume that Nakatsuka-san’s goals were similar.


ps: I’m still loving my new Z1/neo-SAS. If there is any "problem" it is just that it is so revealing that my attention keeps shooting around the performance (like watching fireworks, wow hear that bass, oh wow can really hear the room ambience now...) and it is a bit hard to just relax and take in the whole performance. But I suspect after the newness wears off, I should be able to holistically enjoy the performances again.
Dear @chakster / friends: Now that I remember exist one cartridge " designer " ( England. I think? ) that is using chromium as cantilever material. I understand he manufacture it.

Chromium measures very good on stifness and hardness. He says that performs extremely good and obviously is not inexpensive.

I can't remember if other cartridge experts/designers choosed chromium in the past.

I never had opportunity to listen the Madake so I can't speak about that cartridge design with bamboo cantilever.

Anyway, the boron point it is very clear and in the near future is the material we will see in top cartridges till appears something else but I'm sure that Lyra or Ortofon or other true experts and well regarded cartridge manufacturers decides other thing.

Regards and enjoy the MUSIC NOT DISTORTIONS,